- The downside are the look of the rear and the assistance systems
- Get in and drive off
- Driving experience: Slightly rear-heavy
- Recuperation modes: "Auto" is hard to find
- Acceptance of the speed limit: Mostly not automatically
- Power consumption and range
- Rear and trunk
- Price: All variants are funded to the maximum
- Availability: 6 to 12 months waiting time
- Conclusion: The Ioniq 5 has already cleared
- Image gallery: Kia EV6 (October 2021)
The downside are the look of the rear and the assistance systems
We recently published a test of the new Kia EV6, which our US colleague Kyle Conner produced, and we learned a lot from it. Now I've driven the same version (AWD Long Range) myself and discovered other details.
You should know by now that the EV6, like the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and the Genesis GV60, are based on the Electric Global Modular Platform (E-GMP). Also that the wheelbase is 2.90 meters long, but ten centimeters shorter than the Ioniq 5. In the test linked above, we have already reported that the EV6 (like its E-GMP brothers) has a rather unique all-wheel drive system mechanically disengageable front axle.
You already know how the battery sizes of 58 and 73 kWh come about and that the EV6 with its 800 volt system can be charged with up to 234 kW direct current can. And that the EV6 AWD Long Range with 239 kW drive power a lot of power, you can probably imagine. 5.2 seconds from 0 to 100, that practically says it all anyway.
What then remains to be reported? A whole lot. For example, we learned how the different outputs of the RWD variants come about: The basic version Standard Range RWD has 125 kW, the Long Range RWD, on the other hand, 168 kW. The hardware of the rear motors is identical, as Product Manager Matthias Troge tells me. The difference lies in the battery: the large 77 kW battery delivers more power than the small one with 58 kWh.
Cockpit with two 12.3-inch displays and the double-occupied setting bar under the touchscreen
Get in and drive off
After getting in, I couldn't get the car into D mode. By simply turning the selector, only the N and P modes could be activated, the display was not on "Ready", so for some reason the car was not yet ready to drive.
Finally I opened the door to call one of the Kia technicians for help, and the EV6 promptly rolled back, I was just able to prevent a mishap. Themselves to blame? Sure, but we would have liked P mode to be activated when the door was opened. With the Mercedes EQS you don't even have to worry about anything, you can just get out.
I don't know what the problem was in my case. After a few off and on, the EV6 could be driven away anyway. Tant pis, says the French.
Driving experience: Slightly rear-heavy
Soon it was on the autobahn and as soon as the speed limit was awkward, I let the cow fly. I quickly reached 192 km / h – the official top speed is 185 km / h (regulated). The 239 kW of the all-wheel-drive EV6 don't hesitate for long.
In normal mode, the EV6 decouples the front motor from the axle when it is not needed. This prevents drag losses. Thanks to the Kia press release, I now also know the name of the facility: Disconnector Actuator System (DAS).
As soon as you hit the gas again, the front axle switches on again, and according to Kia in 0.4 seconds. I was unable to reproduce the tiny delay Kyle noticed in his test, even after repeated attempts.
When I had a tight bend in front of me after leaving the autobahn, I used it to test the cornering behavior. With a slightly damp surface and a little more gas, I had the impression that the rear was swinging outwards – that the car was slightly oversteering. That is plausible, says product manager Troge to me later. Firstly, the rear engine is more powerful (approx. 170 kW, compared to only approx. 70 kW at the front), so we have a rear-facing all-wheel drive, and secondly, the rear unit is therefore heavier, which shifts the weight balance to the rear.
Otherwise, the chassis looks pretty tight, even if it never really gets in the way. Steering and accelerator pedal acceptance are influenced by the selected driving mode, Kia told us. With the accelerator pedal it is clearly like this: If you switch from Eco to Normal, or from Normal to Sport, with the accelerator pedal in the same position, the car takes a leap forward. I couldn't see any difference in the steering.
The three driving modes Eco, Normal and Sport as well as the display of the recuperation mode (bottom left)
Recuperation modes: "Auto" is hard to find
One point about which I knew little before was the recuperation modes. The EV6 has five of them, including Max (aka i-Pedal) for popular one-pedal driving – my favorite mode. There are also three levels from 0 to 2, all of which can be selected using the steering wheel paddles. It all worked fine.
But I was particularly interested in the auto mode. A stronger recuperation should automatically be selected if, for example, the vehicle in front slows down or a speed limit follows.
Activating it is anything but easy. I would never have succeeded if my colleague in the front passenger seat hadn't rolled through the operating instructions: You first have to select this option on the touchscreen and only then can you switch on the auto mode by pulling both steering wheel paddles at the same time.
With the recently tested BMW iX on the other hand, the auto recuperation mode is the start-up mode, i.e. this recuperation setting is always active after the system has started. Kia, on the other hand, doesn't seem to really trust the intelligence of its system. Even when driving, we didn't notice the automatically selected recuperation – unlike at BMW, where it was clearly noticeable.
Acceptance of the speed limit: Mostly not automatically
I was also interested in the automatic adoption of the speed limit. A function that would have been very useful to me given the constantly changing speed limits on the country roads between Saarlouis and Trier. The EV6 is actually supposed to be able to do that, but it took me a long time to understand the logic and product manager Troge had to help me with it.
The thing is: if you set 104 km / h on the distance cruise control, for example, and then an 80 sign follows, then the EV6 shows a white arrow with a minus next to it in the head-up display. 80 km / h is only adopted if you press the rocker button on the left of the steering wheel to set the speed, otherwise nothing happens. If, on the other hand, you set 100 km / h, the limit is automatically adopted without any actuation. You have to come to that first!
Another drawback: the lane guidance can apparently only be activated or deactivated. If it is activated, the system also beeps – whenever you cross a line. It's frustrating. According to Kia, the tailgate also beeps when you close it with a button. From my own experience with a Toyota rental car, I would like to add: This is not ideal if you have to leave the campsite early in the morning.
The EV6 is a crossover between station wagon, coupe and SUV
Power consumption and range
After about one and a half hours of driving with a relatively high proportion of the motorway (I estimate a third), the consumption reported by the on-board computer was 24 kWh / 100 km. My somewhat restrained driving colleague brought it to 21 kWh. Assuming a battery capacity of 77 kWh, 320 to 370 km should be possible. The standard information for comparison: 18 kWh / 100 km and 506 km range.
The EV6 is not an efficiency miracle, the product manager readily admits that. He believes that customers will use the car for more sporty purposes. So maybe something like I did.
Rear and trunk
As expected because of the large wheelbase, there is more than enough space in the rear for my knees and, as a 1.76 meter tall passenger, I also have enough space above my head. However, the thighs are a little bit up because the distance between the floor and the seat is a bit small. With my thigh length, the thing is hardly bothersome and much less pronounced than with the BMW i4.
A nice idea is that you can use the front seats to hang up your jacket, even if the backrest is not as wide as a real coat hanger. As for the trunk, the fairly flat rear window ensures a low height:
Kia EV6: Front seat back as a replacement for a coat hanger
Kia EV6: impractical trunk slopes
Price: All variants are funded to the maximum
Last point: the price. The EV6 is available from 44,990 euros. The net list price is less than 40,000 euros, which means that the car qualifies for the maximum subsidy. And that applies to all versions, since the other variants are all declared as drive options. Regardless of whether you buy the basic version for around 45,000 euros or order the top GT version for 65,990 euros, you receive 9,570 euros environmental bonus. The EV6 Long Range AWD that has been driven therefore costs just under 43,000 euros after funding.
|Battery / range||power||price|
|Standard Range RWD||58 kWh / approx. 400 km||125 kW||44,990 euros|
|Long range RWD||77 kWh / 528 km||168 kW||+4,000 euros|
|Long range AWD||77 kWh / 506 km||approx. 170 + approx. 70 = 239 kW||+7,900 euros|
|GT||77 kWh / approx. 400 km||430 kW||+21,000 euros|
Availability: 6 to 12 months waiting time
Orders start on October 23. Anyone who has already reserved an EV6 (which around 2,000 people have done at the manufacturer so far, plus orders via dealers) will get the car "in these weeks," says Kia. However, if you only decide now, you have to wait six to twelve months because the car is currently sold out. Lack of chips! One of the highlights of the range will not even start until the end of 2022: the extremely sporty GT version with 430 kW (and a top speed of 260 km / h) that is not offered on the Ioniq 5..
More about the Kia EV6: Kia EV6 exceeds expectations: up to 528 km range
Kia EV6 (2021) in the seat rehearsal: We dare the first contact
Conclusion: The Ioniq 5 has already cleared
The EV6 is a good electric car with a lot of fascinating technology: 800-volt system, extremely fast charging, high engine power, bidirectional charging, the front seat backrests that can be folded back far, the head-up display with augmented reality Function and the insert pictures in the instrument display when one flashes.
A special feature of the EV6 is also the extremely sporty top version and nice ideas such as the front seat backrests, which can be used as clothes hangers, and the double-occupied adjustment bar. But there are also disadvantages compared to the Hyundai. Personally, I don't like the rear, while the front is okay. To be honest: Since the two cars are otherwise so similar, I would simply prefer to order this one. The slightly different chassis would not be an argument for me personally.
In this regard, I hope for more from the Genesis GV60, the third E-GMP car. It comes up with further technical highlights, such as the Magic Ball control element, face recognition and inductive charging of the traction battery, an optional feature soon to be introduced in Korea.
I was disappointed with the assistance systems, perhaps also because the BMW iX was one of my last test candidates, and it does everything better in this regard – sorry, Kia. I can't say whether Hyundai is better because I drove the Ioniq 5 far too short to allow myself to judge.
That all sounds pretty negative. That probably gives the wrong picture. Overall, the Kia EV6 is a very good electric car. The drive is fun, the chassis is properly tuned and the many gimmicks are nice (even if they are known from the Ioniq 5). Overall, however, the EV6 comes too late for me, so to speak: The Hyundai Ioniq 5 has already earned all the fame.
Image gallery: Kia EV6 (October 2021)
Kia EV6 Long Range AWD
engine 2 electric motors (both PSM), front approx. 70 kW, rear approx. 170 kW
power 239 kW
Max. Torque 605 Nm
drive All-wheel drive (front electric motor can be mechanically decoupled from the axle via DAS)
Acceleration 0-100 km / h 5.2 sec.
Top speed 185 km / h
consumption 17.2 kWh / 100 km (19-inch wheels)
battery 77.4 kWh (nominal capacity)
Electric range 506 km (19 inches)
Charging port CCS2, up to 11 kW AC, up to 240 kW DC
Charging time 7h20 at 11 kW AC, 1h13 at 50 kW DC, 18 min at 240 kW DC
length 4,680 mm
broad 1,880 mm
height 1,550 mm
Trunk volume 490-1,300 liters plus 20 liters at the front
Payload 440 kg
Empty weight 2,090 kg
Market launch October 23, 2021
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